Inside This Serene, Feminine Home On Long Island


living room modern art

Tasked with composing a cozy Mill Neck abode for her nature-centric client, designer Asia Baker Stokes carved out welcoming rooms filled with textured details, like the family room wrapped in Phillip Jeffries Japanese Paper Weave wallcovering. A two-tiered coffee table from Hive Home, a Dash and Albert rug and a CFC washed oak armchair round out the gathering space. Artwork is by Susan Vecsey.

copper awning white house

Light floods through the entrance enfilade of the home, where the exterior is flanked by an eclectic mix of materials, including the original brick flooring alongside new additions, like an aged copper roof over the doorway and outdoor copper lanterns by Visual Comfort.

foyer copper pendant

Inspired by its lakeside setting, designer Asia Baker Stokes cultivated a charming Mill Neck cottage for her client, filling rooms with organic yet delicate colors and textures. Cue the foyer and its original wood inlay flooring, featuring an abstract Dan Christensen painting, a Vaughan Designs verdigris-and-glass pendant, a vintage entry table and a whimsical plaster shell planter.

white blue living room

Twin Bunny Williams Home Southern Belle sofas covered in a Rogers and Goffigon cotton linen form intimate seating by the fireplace in the living room, where the designer infused notes of blue with a custom wool rug through Studio Four NYC and throw pillows of a Suzanne Tucker fabric. A vintage lucite coffee table scored at Meg Braff Designs lends a fresh twist. Above hangs a Syd Solomon oil painting.

raffia chairs dining

Flanked by water views, the casual dining area offers a serene gathering space, complete with rush-accented chairs from Hollywood at Home and a generous Keith Fritz dining table (ideal for parties) decorated here with vintage Hungarian ceramic bowls. Above hangs an antique bell cloche pendant light from The Elemental Garden.

lacanche stove brass hood

The designer never sacrificed form for function in the kitchen, rendering utilitarian features beautiful. See: the Lacanche Cluny 1400 range and a custom nickel-and-brass hood by Haube Range Hood Co. Castro Custom Cabinetry installed the millwork, which is accented with Waterworks hardware and a honed Calacatta Michelangelo backsplash from Cosmo Tile and Stone.

blue banquette modern art

Shades of blue carve out a calming living room nook, courtesy of a Maison Jansen sectional covered in a Chelsea Textiles fabric by Schneller Inc. A vintage German silver coffee table the designer bought at the Brimfield Flea Market adds a special touch. An abstract contemporary painting by Ann Purcell lends contrast.

lattice wet bar

Utterly transformed, the living room wet bar was gutted and made new with cerused millwork by Castro Custom Cabinetry and backsplash from Cosmo Tile and Stone. The designer also took care to incorporate dainty, shimmering accents that would reflect light off the water, like an antiqued mirror backsplash and Waterworks hardware and faucet.

blue bedroom canopy bed

Hand-painted strié walls by Bella Terra Design—using Benjamin Moore’s Blue Bay Marina—craft tranquility in the main bedroom, joined by a Rosenfeld Interiors canopy bed cloaked in scalloped Belgian linen. Baker Stokes upholstered the headboard and John Derian tulip chairs in Elizabeth Eakins’ Attur Denim Blue floral fabric. Camouflaging the TV is a strié cabinet by American TV Lift.

scalloped curtains sitting area

A newly installed picture window creates a luminous seating area in the primary bedroom, outfitted with a custom Nitika Moran wool rug and a John Derian Cove sofa covered in a Rogers and Goffigon glazed pink linen. Creating a space seemingly collected over time, the designer added antiques like the mirrored cabinet, coffee table and Biedermeier end table.

“It’s a bit like an aerie,” observes designer Asia Baker Stokes of this lakefront Mill Neck residence. “You’re up high, overlooking the water, surrounded by incredible birdlife—ospreys, bald eagles and the most beautiful swans, who raise their babies on a tiny island that was formed in a hurricane.” It was this sanctuaried, storybook setting that prompted Baker Stokes’ client, an old friend from childhood, to purchase her very first home.

Perched high in the tree line, with sweeping views of the lake and a private dock, the property was perfect. However, the home’s original interior layout—which placed main gathering areas upstairs to best capture the views—had received a handful of micro renovations over the years, largely divorcing it from the bucolic surrounds.

“It seemed like the house was almost asking for us to open it up,” shares Baker Stokes, pointing to the previously segmented rooms and heavily paned windows that obscured the sightlines. So the designer and her team began their work by unbuttoning the interiors, removing errant doors and rearranging passageways for more fluid movement. They also installed large picture windows in key areas, such as the dining nook off the family room and the cozy sitting area in the primary bedroom.

Meanwhile, the kitchen, which was sketched by Baker Stokes and fabricated by a local cabinetmaker, marked the most dramatic transformation. Joining a new fenestration and opened-up floor plan, crisp white cabinetry, brass hardware, a custom trimmed brass hood and a white Lacanche stove speak a distinctly feminine language—which is, of course, by design. “She’s very practical, but also wants things to be beautiful,” notes the designer of her client. Even in its most utilitarian moments, adds Baker Stokes, “the home reflects a strong femininity, because that’s who she is.”

A feminine mood similarly manifests in the new living room wet bar, which the designer appointed with lattice-paneled cabinet fronts and an antique mirrored backsplash. Baker Stokes prioritized such delicate details throughout, relying on patinated flourishes and vintage finds to craft a soft, storied ethos. “I like to give houses a sense of nostalgia—a feeling that pieces have been collected over time,” she explains. “Rooms should feel lived in and loved and timeworn.” This outlook can be seen in the various decorative wall finishes she had commissioned, such as the dainty, hand-painted strié in her client’s bedroom, which gives the room “a little bit of an age,” she notes. Placed at the foot of the bed—and cleverly concealing a television on a lift—a custom cabinet sports the same textured robin’s egg blue, giving it the feel of an earlier piece.

Further building the impression of a home composed over a lifetime, furnishings blend different eras, from the living room’s 1970s lucite coffee table to a pair of 19th-century Biedermeier end tables in the primary bedroom. Baker Stokes was particularly thrilled to find a home for an etched silver German cocktail table she discovered years ago at the Brimfield Flea Market, reserving it for just the right project. The designer nestled that piece—which glimmers in the sunlight like a piece of jewelry—in a corner of the living room, wrapped by a banquette with antiqued woodwork and pale blue upholstery that echoes the lake.

When it came to her materials palette, Baker Stokes opted for clean and tactile, favoring cerused oak finishes, raffia and grasscloth wallcoverings, and neutral linen fabrics. Yet she took care in adding dashes of romance (the floral upholstery on the primary bedroom’s headboard and accent chairs) as well as practicality (the many performance fabrics that thread throughout the central living spaces.)

Take the casual family room off the kitchen. There, the designer outfitted the sofa (which the client’s three beloved rescue dogs have claimed as their throne) in a hardy outdoor fabric. “They like to sit there, where they’re at the center of things,” laughs the client. And she too favors the degage perch—especially at golden hour, when the warm sunlight off the lake casts the room in a honeyed veil. “I can see the sparkle on the water, the birds taking flight and the trees glowing,” she says. “It’s incredibly beautiful.”